Shrimp Toji Maki
Niku Miso Tofu – Homemade Tofu with Miso-Meat Sauce (Beef)
Fried Oyster Roll – with Avocado, Cucumber, Tobiko and BBQ Mayo
Scallion Yellowtail Roll
Yaki Saba Bo Sushi – Round Pressed Bo Sushi with Lightly Grilled Mackerel, Shiso and Shaved Kelp
I loved how the fried oyster roll is constantly considered a “special” and included on the chalkboard. It has literally never not been a “special” when we’ve gone. It is always on the chalkboard. Always. Can they just go ahead and put it on the laminated menu, or what? I mean, you have a blog!
Also, where are all of the structural improvements? Hibino was closed over New Year’s for what was termed “renovations,” but on this Valentine’s Day/Chinese New Year I noticed no second floor, no belly dance ring, and no chocolate fountain. Maybe they had rats.
Oh yes, the food. The tofu with beef sauce was kind of ridiculous. Like, imagine a straight up block of fresh tofu, lightly moist and not very flavorful. OK, that’s fine. I mean, I would technically eat that. Now throw on a huge heaping of what amounts to ground very flavorful, beef. Chopsticks were not sufficient; let’s put it that way. No complaints here!
The mackerel roll was admittedly kind of a fishy mess, but actually after a few bites the kelp and miso meld in your mouth, and it’s all good. Fishyness be damned. The scallion yellow tail roll is really a big standout I must say. As simple as it is, there’s so much flavor and so little fuss. Sometimes you just want to pop in a single bite and not look like a hot mess mashing it around in your gaping maw. Sure, the oyster roll is its own brand of redonkulous flavor, but it’s also sporting tons of panko and some serious mayo dippings (see this photo). I could survive on just the scallion yellow tail roll alone.
Word of advice to those who’ve never tried Hibino, though: be wary of the so-called sweet croquettes that accompany the [actually really amazing] soy pudding, and don’t kid yourself with that after-dinner tea. I mean, I realize it’s soy and probably culturally important or whatever, but it’s like the worst-tasting tea ever. Is it even tea? It is literally like they boiled a brown paper bag and served you the hot remnants. “Mmm, brown paper bag.”
Oh, and I almost forgot the shrimp toji maki. OK, so I realize this appetizer is probably like an indulgence that only fat white Americans order with regularity, but girl that shit is amazing. It’s like someone took some shrimps, mashed them all up into a meat log, then coated them in a silken tofu crust, and then fried (?) it. Well, that didn’t come out sounding so appetizing. But just be aware: it’s da bomb.